Trib HSSN football team of the week for 2023 Week 15

Sunday, December 10, 2023 | 10:28 PM

The Aliquippa football program has enjoyed record amounts of success through the decades.

The Quips have reached the WPIAL championship game 16 years in a row and counting. They have won more WPIAL football titles than any other district school, capturing their 20th crown last month.

Aliquippa added more gold last week, winning a fifth PIAA championship in a Class 4A final rout of Dallas, 60-14.

History was made Thursday in Mechanicsburg as this was the first time an Aliquippa team won state gold with a perfect record, finishing 14-0.

“Last week in the semifinals when we won, I just came out and said we’re not going to be superstitious in here,” Aliquippa coach Mike Warfield said. “We’re going to accept this thing, and we’re going to go get it. Last year we were in the same situation being undefeated, but we came up a little short. This year, we always want to remain humble, but at times you have to poke your chest out a little bit and accept it and go get it.”

The Quips went out and got it in a big way. They scored 24 points in the first quarter and added 16 more before halftime.

“Our offense and our defense get to shine and be recognized, but all year our special teams have been great,” Warfield said. “We won the toss, and I decided to defer so we could start out on defense and let our special teams and kickoff team set the tone and they did that. From that point on, the kids were locked in and played well.”

Senior quarterback Quentin Goode found Brandon Banks on a 36-yard scoring pass to open the scoring, and nothing the District 2 champion Mountaineers did could slow down the Quips.

Junior running back Tikey Hayes scored the next three touchdowns, and Quentin’s younger brother, Qa’lil Goode, returned an interception 87 yards for a score to round out the first half.

Senior running back John Tracy scored two TDs, and senior Cameron Lindsey added a running touchdown in the second half.

Warfield was asked: With such a big lead, was he able to soak in the championship run moment in the second half?

“When you’re up by 35 and the clock is rolling, you pretty much know you have the victory, but we teach our kids not to look at the scoreboard. Play every play with the energy like its fourth and inches.”

The Quips outgained the Mountaineers on the ground, 406-47, with Hayes leading the way with 222 yards and Tracy adding 135 yards.

One of the questions coming into the season was how would Aliquippa replace a giant line up front on offense and defense.

“All the credit goes to Sheldon Colbert, our offensive line coach,” Warfield said. “He was our offensive coordinator, but because of his profession, he couldn’t because of time constraints. He started getting with these new kids back in April, and he worked with them all summer, through conditioning and camp. Around Week 5 or Week 6, he said Mike, ‘We’re going to be OK.’ We changed things up with more scheming and speed.”

With wins and championships adding up and a perfect season under his belt, Warfield keeps a perspective on what his main job is as coach.

“This is strictly for the kids,” he said. “My job is not to win games, my job is to make sure these kids are doing the right thing to get on the right path in life. We’re going to compete between 7 and 9 or whatever time we play, but my job is to make sure this program stays at the level it is. This thing is precious, and I don’t want to drop it under my watch. My goal when coming to work every day is to show the kids if you keep working and keep working, it might not go your way all of the time, but keep working and you’ll get it in the end.”

WPIAL/City League Week 15 Honorable Mentions:

Belle Vernon Leopards

Belle Vernon’s stay in Class 3A was short, but it was golden. For the second straight year, Matt Humbert’s Leopards followed up a WPIAL championship with a PIAA crown. A year ago, Belle Vernon needed a goal-line stand to beat Neumann-Goretti, 9-8. This time the Leopards got defensive again but cruised to a victory over Northwestern Lehigh, 38-7. The BVA defense allowed only 37 total points in five district and state playoff victories.

North Allegheny Tigers, Peters Township Indians, Fort Cherry Rangers, Westinghouse Bulldogs

All four local teams had golden seasons in the district but settled for silver in the state postseason. For Peters Township and Fort Cherry, near-perfect seasons ended with losses, but also with their school’s first WPIAL championships. North Allegheny was no match for state power St. Joe’s Prep, but it is a back-to-back winner in the WPIAL. For Westinghouse, it was a heartbreaking loss to another state power in Southern Columbia as it brought home runner-up silver for a second straight season.

2023 HSSN Teams of the Week:

Week 14 — North Allegheny Tigers

Week 13 — Belle Vernon Leopards

Week 12 — Avonworth Antelopes

Week 11 — Beaver Falls Tigers

Week 10 — Deer Lakes Lancers

Week 9 — South Side Rams

Week 8 — Central Valley Warriors

Week 7 — Mars Fightin’ Planets

Week 6 — Pine-Richland Rams

Week 5 — Moon Tigers

Week 4 — Thomas Jefferson Jaguars

Week 3 — Knoch Knights

Week 2 — Waynesburg Central Raiders

Week 1 — Aliquippa Quips

Week Zero — Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils


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